Minneapolis officials are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to mobilize the state National Guard for the Super Bowl, amid questions about whether the city’s police force has enough officers to effectively patrol neighborhoods and handle other demands.
Even with dozens of departments across the state pledging to send officers to help with security, Mayor Betsy Hodges and Mayor-elect Jacob Frey wrote in a letter on Tuesday that the city’s police “cannot by themselves meet of all the safety and security needs of the 10 days of Super Bowl LII while maintaining public-safety operations for the entire city.”
A police spokeswoman referred questions to the city, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The Super Bowl Host Committee, which has raised $50 million to cover the cost of hosting the game, said through a spokeswoman that it would cover the cost of the deployment. “Our priority is creating a safe Super Bowl in which all Minnesotans can share in the excitement,” said the spokeswoman, Andrea Mokros.
The letter said that the Guard would perform such tasks such as “pedestrian safety, traffic control, security for key venues and infrastructure, and transport,” freeing up Minneapolis and other agencies to do police work during the 10-day buildup to the game. Officials said that it was nothing more than a routine request, made in almost every Super Bowl since 2002.
In a statement released Tuesday, Bob Hume, the senior adviser to the governor, said that Dayton was considering the request.